Computing

Professorial Spy Games Take The Fun Out Of Cheating

In the eternal arms race that is teachers versus cheaters, the administration of the University of Central Florida has hit DEFCON-1. And they’re doing it with technology.

The NY Times report that cheating is rampant in university classrooms doesn’t come as a surprise nearly so much as the degree to which both parties are going high-tech. During UCF exams, for instance:

The 228 computers that students use are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen – using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later – is easy to spot.

Scratch paper is allowed – but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later.

When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.

Goodness. And that’s not even to mention the extent to which students go to mask plagiarised papers from cheater-sniffing services like Turnitin. Cyrillic letters! Macros! And other schemes that are time-consuming enough to hardly seem worth it.

So what’s next? Hopefully a return to simpler times, when you either glanced at your neighbour’s paper or took your C- like a man. [NY Times via The Awl]


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